From a member of WNY Students First:
This morning, I called the Onondaga County Executive's Office and spoke with an official about their decision to allow school districts to open fully at 3 feet of distance with masks and barriers.
They confirmed that Dr. Gupta took into consideration state guidelines, along with the health of children and science related to safe school openings. They stated that they are fully compliant with state guidelines and are doing what makes sense.
I then called the reporter from WBEN who reported HERE regarding Mr. Poloncarz' statements on Erie County Department of Health's decision to not take the same path as Onondaga County.
In the reporter's article, Mr. Poloncarz states: "I know from talking with colleagues of mine in county and state government that while Onondaga county issued this 3ft advisory, they actually don't have the power to do that."
Actually, Onondaga County DOES have "the power to do that" - and so does Erie County. I examined the NY state guidance that ECDOH sent me directly:
Please see Page 2 under social distancing: "six feet of space in all directions between individuals OR use of appropriate physical barriers."
This is the language that Onondaga County is using to reopen at 3 feet with the use of barriers and masks. Please keep in mind that they are also keeping 6 feet of distance between students and staff and between all staff members.
Mr. Poloncarz and Dr. Burstein DO have the authority to follow the same guidelines to allow schools to reopen fully and safely today, with the use of masks and barriers, just like officials in Onondaga County did last week.
It has become increasingly evident that Mr. Poloncarz and the Erie County Department of Health are not being honest about being able to follow Onondaga County's lead.